Despite its reputation, Friday the thirteenth this month was a special occasion for the Dawson County High School basketball program. Not only did both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams pick-up critical regional wins over North Hall, both games saw the celebration of career milestones for a pair of star athletes.
During halftime of the Lady Tigers game, senior Jasper Gibson was called to the floor and awarded a commemorative game-ball to celebrate scoring the 1,500th point of his three-and-a-half-year career. Gibson achieved the milestone against the Westminster Wildcats on Feb. 21, 2019 in the sweet sixteen round of the 2018-2019 Georgia High School Association state playoffs.
“It was a great feeling,” Gibson said. “It is something that I have put a lot of work into.”
Averaging 17 points a game in the 2019-2020 season, Gibson has already added 171 points to his scoring total. Combined with the 33 points he scored in the final two games of last year’s playoffs he now sits at 1,700 career points and is on the pace to break 2,000 points in his career.
“That’s not something I really think about,” Gibson said. “If it happens, it happens. I just want to make sure I do right by the team.”
Later in the evening, during halftime of the boys’ game, Lady Tigers’ Head Coach Steve Sweat took the microphone for a surprise announcement.
Senior Marlie Townley, having posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds against the Lady Trojans, had surpassed 500 rebounds in her tenure with Dawson County. An achievement all the more remarkable due to the fact she missed her entire sophomore season due to injury.
Townley averaged 13 rebounds a game during the Lady Tigers playoff run last season and is currently snagging 10 per game through the early part of this year. She does not personally keep track of the specific number and, although she knew she was close, the announcement took her by surprise.
“It was definitely a shock, but it felt good to be out there,” said Townley. “It makes me want to really push the envelope and see how many I can get.”
With 14 games left in the regular season, both players will have plenty of opportunities to continue to making their mark on Dawson County Basketball.